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Rodrigo Pardo, 46, Argentina, and Lorena Medina, 46, Ecuador, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud for orchestrating a loan modification scheme.

According to court documents the pair defrauded homeowners in Northern Virginia and mortgage lenders by promising the homeowners to assist them in obtaining loan modifications. As part of the scheme, Pardo and Medina agreed to negotiate with the homeowners’ lenders for a reduced monthly payment. Pardo and Medina then instructed clients who were current on their mortgages to stop making payments to their lenders as they had in the past, and instead make payments into accounts controlled by Medina, Pardo, or COFS, a company they controlled. At the same time, Pardo and Medina represented to their clients’ mortgage lenders that COFS was authorized to negotiate loan modifications, but concealed from the mortgage lenders that they were receiving mortgage payments from the victims. As a result, Pardo and Medina received over $140,000 in payments from their victims, which they used for personal expenses.

Pardo and Medina pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud and face a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison when sentenced on March 1, 2009. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Nancy McNamara, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Robert Manchak, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Office of Inspector General for the Federal Housing Finance Agency, made the announcement after Senior U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly R. Pedersen and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Charlie Divine are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:18-cr-181.